Author: Lawrence Treat
Illustrator: Leslie Cabarga
Publisher: David R. Godine
If you stumbled upon a murder scene, how difficult would it be to figure out what happened? How is the body positioned? Are there footprints or scuff marks on the floor? Is there evidence of theft or a struggle?
In these 24 pen and ink drawings, murder scenes are laid out for the amateur sleuth to interpret. The reader is invited to study the drawing, and then answer a series of questions designed to draw out the truth.
Unfortunately, many of the scenes are a bit difficult to make out. In one scene, a mustache brush provides a vital clue, but many wouldn’t even be able to identify it on the table. In another, signatures need to be compared, but it’s hard to tell if their similarity is a clue or simply the way they are drawn. Some of the scenes appear a bit dated, making it difficult for the younger reader to even understand what’s happening.
Crime and Puzzlement is a nice idea, in concept. Savvy mystery readers may be able to solve a few of these puzzlers, but a lot of folks will probably feel frustrated.
Reviewer: Alice Berger